They say that adversity breeds creativity; that adage has certainly held true for Reykjavík restaurants. When we first started to put together the Best of Reykjavík issue it was slim pickings, but over the years, decision making has increasingly become a less-straightforward affair. This has really been one of our most challenging dining editions to put together, as we were spoilt for choice both in terms of quality as well as consistency. Restaurants old and new have a post-pandemic energy about them, and we’re delighted to once again grace their tables. We’ve chomped, chewed and gulped our way around this fine city, all in the name of bringing the very best that Reykjavík has to offer you, dear gourmands.
Chef Ragnar Eiriksson has been through a few jaunts and joints since his departure from Dill. At Brút, he has found his voice and a balance of flavours that appeal to a large cross-section of diners—no mean feat. Brút had a shaky start but quickly found their rhythm. From the extensive wine ‘book’ to the decor and playful graphics, the concept feels well thought-out. Focussed on seafood, the usual suspects only lurk briefly, making way for a showcase of the sea snails, scallops, squid and skate. Despite the emphasis on seafood, we are also partial to the gnocchi (sinful, buttery goodness). If they’d work on the meh dessert trolley (a great idea let down by execution), Brút is all set to knock other establishments off their comfy perches.
The Reykjavík Edition, Austurbakki 2
Under the vision of chef Gunnar Karl and headed by chef Georg Halldórsson, Tides quickly turned the tides (we couldn’t resist) from safe hotel restaurant to fine dining establishment to watch out for. With a stunning open kitchen that overlooks a plush dining room, independent wine list and cocktails that don’t skew sweet, Tides is proving popular with both hotel guests as well as local diners. We love the Josper Basque grill and the expertise the kitchen wields over it—the grilled arctic char with crispy, smoky skin and coral tender insides is proof of this. The menu showcases local produce in an elevated fashion, and is combined with stellar service.
Many restaurants have come and gone in the concert hall lobby, but none had the foothold Hnoss already does. Chef Fanney Dóra has crafted a wholesome, moreish menu here that comfortably combines her love for bold spices with her passion for Icelandic produce. This is best expressed in dishes like the delicate shrimp cocktail and the heady miso-glazed celeriac, a dish that will convert even hardcore meat-eaters. Rumour has it that Fanney is also brewing her own champagne blend with none other than Piper Heidsick.
2021: Dragon Dimsum
2019: Eiriksson Brasserie
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